Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Landsbergis: “The Ukrainians pay a heavy price for our delays and fears”
For Ukraine’s victory, it is vital to ensure a continued supply of weapons, especially ammunition, Lithuania’s head of diplomacy Gabrielius Landsbergis said during an informal meeting of the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) Foreign Ministers in Cēsis, Latvia.
“We should stand by Ukraine not for as long as it takes, but until Ukraine’s victory. We need to accelerate the delivery of our military aid – fighter jets, including F16, air defence and ammunition. We should also help Ukraine protect its grain export routes,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania noted.
Landsbergis says that at the Vilnius NATO summit, a consensus was reached that Ukraine would join NATO. But after answering the question ‘whether’, we must also answer the question ‘when’. Thus, we should not lose the initial impetus in the run-up to the upcoming Washington summit.
“At the NATO summit in Vilnius, we brought Ukraine closer to NATO. We must seize the opportunity, and some time ahead of the Washington summit, we must move forward at maximum speed. As far as the EU is concerned, the greatest long-term security we can provide for Ukraine and ourselves is the enlargement of the EU. Hopefully, the accession talks with Ukraine will begin at the end of this year,” the Foreign Minister said.
Landsbergis also stressed that the need for regional cooperation was only increasing, especially in defence and security.
“We must strategically plan and ensure that Ukraine can win this war. Existing challenges facing the Nordic-Baltic region’s neighbourhood and the world require a focused response that can only be achieved by maintaining unity and coordinating positions and actions at regional and international levels,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania said.
On 6-7 September, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister is participating in an informal meeting of the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) Foreign Ministers in Latvia.
This year, Latvia coordinates the NB8 cooperation.
The ministerial meeting in Riga and Cēsis focuses on strengthening regional security and resilience, supporting Ukraine, closer NB8 cooperation and other important regional issues.
The Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) is an informal (non-institutionalized) regional cooperation format that includes Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. Each year, the NB8 countries coordinate the activities of the NB8 on a rotating basis. The coordinating country organizes and hosts meetings that take place during that year. In 2022, the NB8 cooperation was coordinated by Lithuania.